To our most recent coy journalist: Did somebody think that there actually was a "gay gene?" The New York Times, in a front-page report, informs us today that there isn't.
An inspector general's report is only as good as the judgment of the particular inspector general in question. There is no final, definitive judgment on the conduct of any public official. Inspector generals are significant players, but they aren't the oracle at Delphi. They aren't even philosopher-kings!
That said, it's never a good day for us the people when the New York Times is telling us this on its re-imagined page A3:
The ConversationThat headline did in fact appear on Collins' Thursday column.
FIVE OF THE MOST READ, SHARED AND DISCUSSED POSTS FROM ACROSS NYTIMES.COM
1) Is Trump, Um, Slipping? Even More?
This opinion column by Gail Collins was one of the most read articles on Thursday. "If anything important came out of the Group of 7 meeting, it was probably further evidence that our president is . . . getting worse," she wrote, arguing that the president seemed "even more befuddled and confused than usual" at the meeting of major industrialized countries.
The word "Um" did appear in her headline. And when Collins wrote about the "probabl[e] further evidence that our president is . . . getting worse," that slightly coy "dot dot dot" was right there in her copy.
As such, Collins became the ten millionth upper-end journalist to suggest that Trump is undergoing some type of cognitive decline, or some advancing mental health problem, without being willing to come right out and say so.
Instead, she, um, talked around what she was saying, with the result that she never quite managed to say it. The following passage includes the only point where she came close to stating her apparent meaning:
COLLINS (8/29/19): The meeting in France wasn’t the only recent exchange with world leaders that suggested Trump is suffering from something more worrisome than the lack of a coherent foreign policy. Back in April, after talking with NATO officials in Washington, he said that despite his complaints about Germany, he had “great respect” for the country from which his father emigrated. “My father is German...born in a very wonderful place in Germany.”Interesting! But what might those wildly waving red flags be saying to those "mental health professionals?"
Fred Trump was born in the Bronx. “To mental health professionals like me, the red flags are waving wildly,” wrote the psychologist John Gartner.
Collins made no attempt to say, or to inquire of Gartner. Again and again, then again and again, it's perfectly clear that such things simply aren't done.
Once again, we'll suggest that we're looking at an anthropological problem—at the limited intellectual and moral horizons of our less-than-spectacular species.
Donald Trump is the most powerful person on earth. He does in fact hold the nuclear codes, and Jared could probably help him figure out how to activate them.
If he seems to be having a problem with "mental health," or if he seems to be undergoing some type of cognitive decline, you'd think a serious adult journalist would want to explore the question directly. But again and again and again and again, the children take the road constantly traveled by—the path of insinuation and avoidance.
Had we but world enough and time, this coyness would be no crime! But with re-election drawing on, time’s winged chariot might be said to be hurrying near!
If something is happening to Donald J. Trump, shouldn't adult journalists examine the question before the pressure on this disordered man mounts even further?
Alas! "Let us sport while we may" has long been the calling card of the upper-end press corps. The children like to gambol and play while showcasing their vast wit.
They've been at this task for decades. Not unlike the commander-in-chief, they may be getting worse.
Also this: Also on today's A3, we were treated to seven noteworthy facts. The first and last of those noteworthy facts went exactly like this:
Of InterestTo some editor, they were "noteworthy facts." People, we're just saying!
NOTEWORTHY FACTS FROM TODAY'S PAPER
A franchise owner who runs 11 Popeyes locations in the Midwest said that last week he sold 1,200 fried chicken sandwiches at his restaurant in Appleton, Wis.
As a child, the Abstract Expressionist and Color Field painter Helen Frankenthaler drew a line in chalk on the ground from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to her family's apartment on 74th Street.